The Revival Tour is, as described by it’s website, “an acoustic collaborative showcase.” The genre has been called many things: alt-country, folk-punk, Americana, and any number of other descriptions. But, essentially, it’s a loose collective of rotating musicians, mostly coming out of the punk/hardcore community who have traded in their axes for acoustic guitars, fiddles, double basses, mandolins, etcetera, and play some music together on tour each year.
The tour is perennially spearheaded by Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music, whose gravelly, whisky-and-cigarette soaked voice drips with emotion and sincerity. It’s his passion that has brought this shifting crew across North America and Europe each year since 2008. The format is unique. The set lists are open and loose. There’s barely even any sets at all. Each singer takes the stage in turn for five or six songs, sporadically being accompanied by other members of the tour. At the end, they all take the stage together to perform several songs as a band. It’s a fresh, and indeed highly collaborative showcase.
This year, the Toronto stop features, in addition to Chuck, Dave Hause (The Loved Ones), Toh Kay (Streetlight Manifesto), Rocky Votolato, and Jenny Owen Youngs. The tour bill each year advertises “and many more”, and, indeed, last year the Toronto show was greeted with a couple of fantastic Canadian surprises, but like any good fan, I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high.
The tour stops at Lee’s Palace in Toronto tomorrow night, April 1. Be there.